It is a fact that asthma is a chronic disease that defies modern medicine to some extent, but the truth is that you can lead a normal life if you learn to live with it. The simplest thing is to know your disease well and find out about the latest developments in the treatment for Asthma. Every year hundreds of studies are done world wide, which helps scientists inch closer to a perfect solution. Every research is a ray of hope from a sufferer’s perspective and the fight against asthma is on, and exciting breakthroughs are just round the corner.
Recent developments in asthma treatment
- Vitamin D from the sun
Vitamin D can help in the treatment of asthma, so spending time sunbathing can have a positive effect on asthma patients. According to the scientists at King’s College London, Vitamin D calms the overactive part of the Immune System, which in turn helps to control asthma. Treating patients with vitamin D has not yet been tested.
- A new drug used in the treatment of Leukemia
A new drug, developed by the University of New South Wales to treat Leukemia, shows promise in treating asthma. This drug is capable of activating a protein that is suppressed when there is bout of asthma attack. The important thing is that this drug is not just alleviating the symptoms, but it prevents the underlying disease mechanism.
- Three years of immunotherapy for children
Asthma and allergies caused by dust mites among children can be treated with allergy shots lasting for three years. Researchers say this treatment can control long term allergic asthma. For long term effectiveness, it is recommended that this immunotherapy has to be continued for 3 to 5 years. According to experts from the American College of allergy, asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), who carried out the study, immunotherapy called allergy shots has been very effective with 50 percent of the children experiencing remission after 3 years of treatment.
- Eating nuts during pregnancy
Eating nuts during pregnancy can reduce the risk of children getting asthma. In the study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, experts analysed the link between nut intake during pregnancy and the chances of allergic diseases in the early and later childhood of the baby. Results revealed that mothers who ate nuts at least once a week were less likely to have children developing asthma.
- Regular medication
Regularly taking medicines can prevent a quarter of severe asthma attacks. A new study done by the Henry Ford Hospital examined the relationship between medical adherence and asthma attacks. They found that regular medication could avert asthma attacks. Inhaled Corticosteroid medication (ICS)is the best method for preventing asthma attacks. Avoiding medication can cause an emergency or death.
- Gut bug H.Pylori
A gut bug called H. Pylori, which causes gastritis, gastric ulcer and stomach cancer, is effective against allergy-induced asthma. Scientists from the University of Zurich and Johannes Gutenberg University believe that the sudden increase in asthma cases in Europe could be linked to the disappearance of H. Pylori bug from Western societies.
- Eating blackcurrants
Eating blackcurrants may help asthma patients to breathe more comfortably. A study done by Dr. Roger Hurst and published in the Journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research says that the compounds in blackcurrant supports the body’s natural defense mechanism and reduces the long term inflammation. Blackcurrant contains two compounds that reduces inflammation- epigallocatechin and anthocyanins.
- Improved home heating reduces the symptoms
A study carried out by Otago University, News Zealand reveals that improved home heating can have a positive effect on children showing asthma symptoms. The result of the study showed that children improved their health significantly and less coughing and wheezing were reported. Sustainable heaters are good for children’s health, especially in cold climatic conditions.
- Starfish for asthma treatment
Starfish may be used in the fight against asthma in the coming years, says experts. The researchers from the Scottish Association of Marine Science have found that the slimy substance that covers the body of starfish has non-stick property. This can provide an effective weapon to fight against inflammatory diseases. The inflammatory conditions are caused by the excessive production of white blood cells as a natural response to infections. The while cells produced in this manner stick to the sides of the vessel and damage tissues. The non-stick property of the starfish slime could be used to coat the inside of the vessels to allow the white cells to flow freely.
- Breathing technique to control asthma
Two professors, Thomas Ritz and Alicia Meuret at the South Methodist University in Dullas, have devised a four week program to teach asthmatics how to control asthma by changing the way they breathe. When there is an asthma attack, the sufferers breathe harder and faster because they have a feeling of oxygen deprivation. This is actually dangerous for two reasons. It reduces body’s carbon dioxide levels and as result the blood flow to the brain can be restricted and the already hypersensitive bronchial passages can be irritated. The Capnometry-Assisted Respiratory Training (CART) teaches patients to normalize and reverse chronic over breathing.
- Breastfeeding and prevention of asthma
Asthma related problems in early childhood can be prevented if the babies are breastfed for the first six months after birth. The researchers from Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands collected data from 5000 children and studied the impact of the duration of breastfeeding and the introduction of other alternatives. The result revealed that the children who had been breastfed faced increased risk of wheezing, dry cough, shortness of breath and persistent phlegm in the first four years.
- Family mealtimes and Kid’s asthma
Children who have asthma have the increased risk of separation-anxiety. A new study reveals that the simple remedy for this is regular family mealtimes. The children would love to see their parents by their side. According to Barbara.H.Fiese, a professor at the University of Illinois, the meaningful interaction that supports the child can work wonders by easing the child’s anxiety. When the child’s anxiety level is low, the lungs perform at an optimum level, bringing about an overall improvement.
- Catching early flue can protect against asthma
Children living in extremely hygienic surrounding are too clean for their survival and well-being. If the human immune system does mot have viruses and bacteria to fight, it overreacts, causing allergies. Increasing number of children in developed countries suffer from asthma because they are not exposed to viruses and bacteria. New studies reveal that caching flu at a young can strengthen the immune system and protect one from getting asthma in the later stages. The scientists from Harvard Medical School who conducted experiments on mice came up with same conclusion.
- Alcohol and asthma
Quite interestingly, a study carried out by the researchers at Bispebjerg Hospital in Denmark shows that moderate drinking (not more than six units a week) can reduce the risk of asthma. The results revealed that the lowest risk of asthma was seen in the group that drank moderately where as heavy drinkers and those who never drank faced an increased risk.
- Vitamin B9 good for asthma
A new study shows that Folic Acid or Vitamin B9 suppresses allergic reactions and lessens the severity of asthma. John Hopkins Scientists who conducted the study examined the link between blood levels of folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid) and allergies. The results suggest that folate can help control inflammation. The researchers have found a relationship between folate levels and inflammation related diseases. But it is too early to recommend folic acid supplements for prevention or treatment of asthma.
- Exposure to dust in a house with dogs
Exposure to dust found in houses with dogs may protect children against a common respiratory virus attributed to the development of asthma. Kei Fujimura, the study co-author form the University of California found that exposing mice to dust from homes that have dogs protected them from a childhood airway infection agent, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). RSV infection is very common among children. This infection causes mild or severe respiratory problems.
- Machine to put asthmatics to bed
An air purification device cleaning the air while asthma patients go to sleep can significantly control the symptoms of asthma, says a study. This machine is placed next to the patient’s head and its long arm gives continuous supply of pure filtered air around the patient’s head. Those who used the machine reported big improvement in the quality of their life. John Warner professor of pediatrics at the Imperial college London led the study.
- Treatment for allergies
Scientists have come up with new treatments for allergies caused by grasses and dust mite. This derives from a new class of therapy known as Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulatory Epitopes (SPIREs).This treatment is sure to help people who have sneezing bouts, itching eyes and running nose caused by allergy to grass of dust mite. It is calculated that these allergens are responsible for more than 50 percent of allergic respiratory diseases.